Rental Sculpture


I’m a big fan of sculptress Maria Lundberg, particularly her work in hardwood. Now, I can’t afford to buy her stuff. But being a good friend of the family, she’s agreed to a somewhat unusual arrangement. I’ve rented one of her pieces for a year.

Most artists have a large backlog of unsold work sitting around their homes and studios. This way, Lundberg has one less bulky piece to house, it earns her a modest amount of money, and she retains the option of selling it at any time with a simple partial refund for me.

I’m not a hoarder. This is actually an ideal arrangement for me: I get to keep a great piece of sculpture around in my home for just as long as it takes for me to become used and numb to it. Then I’ll return it and rent something new.

Sculpture (to which may be counted architecture) is the ultimate art form of the digital age: the last kind of art that can’t be transmitted adequately over the net. If you want to experience Maria Lundberg’s lion, you need to visit my living room. I’m going to move it around every few weeks, rotate it slightly every now and then, get to know it well. There’s delight in being pleasantly surprised in the familiar setting of your home.

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  1. #1 judith weingarten
    July 21, 2008


    To find a super companion for your lion, visit, click enter, click sculpture, click lion fountain.

    What a pair they would make!

  2. #2 Pär
    July 21, 2008

    That sure looks like a leopard to me.

  3. #3 megan
    July 21, 2008

    oh, it’s a girl lion! i should convince my old high school to buy it – since it was a girls school they changed the gender of the mascot to a female lion about 5 or 6 years ago.

    not that schools have spare change lying around, but whatever. i can ‘suggest’ it.

  4. #4 meagn
    July 21, 2008

    oh yeah, her website says leopard too. well i guess you can keep it then.

  5. #5 Bee
    July 22, 2008

    I like her sculptures, and I heartily approve of renting works by artists. In Nova Scotia we have an Art Bank, from which you can rent many works from various local artists. Even better to rent direct from the artist!

    I’m going to suggest that glass art, stained, painted, etc., also cannot be transmitted over the ‘waves’. Anyone who’s tried photographing glass, particularly kiln-fired painted glass windows, will tell you it’s very difficult to capture. The changing light, hour to hour and through weather and the seasons, transmitted through the artist’s manipulations of the medium, means any image you do capture represents only a good approximation of the real thing at a particular day and hour.

  6. #6 Mary Gravelle
    July 22, 2008

    I’m glad that this blog has been posted as it gives me validation that this might be right for me as well. Renting my art is something that I have been considering, as mentioned in this article, I have a few paintings hanging around that I might as well be receiving an income by letting them hang on someone else’s walls for their enjoyment. I really do enjoy my paintings hanging on my own walls AND … I really enjoy eating too ….. so, someone rent my paintings so I can eat … lol!

  7. #7 Mary Gravelle
    July 22, 2008

    PS: I LOVE Maria’s sculpture. She has a gift of breathing life into the wood. Thank you for the upliftment in my morning.

  8. #8 barbara huffert
    July 22, 2008

    Well I’m certainly jealous. What a tremendous arrangement!

  9. #9 Bee
    July 23, 2008

    It is a tremendous arrangement. If you know an artist whose work you like but can’t afford, ask them if they’ll rent. I’m sure a lot of artists just haven’t thought of offering, and would do it in a flash. I’ve worked out a couple rent-to-buy arrangements with clients in the past, with everyone coming out happy. Rent-to-buy gives the client a worry-free payment plan – if they feel unable to make payments at any time, they can return the piece.

  10. #10 Mary E
    July 24, 2008

    maybe it will gain value as it develops a patina from your handing and caressing and fondling it.
    or did it come whith a pair of white gloves?

  11. #11 Robert Mileham
    July 25, 2008

    I have heard of Art Banks and was even accepted by one in Devon a few years ago but never took it further. Now times look to be a little harder I wonder if Art Banks will show an ‘up’ or ‘down’ in turnover.

    I do not think white gloves would be necessary to protect your hands in this case!

  12. #12 Martin R
    July 25, 2008

    It’s a solid chunk of waxed cherry wood, weighing somewhere around 10 kg…

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